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Useful Terms When Riding a Horse

There’s a lot to know about horses, from the equipment used while riding, how to clean them, what to feed them, exercising them, and so much more. So for anyone who is new to horses or trail riding, it may seem like there is a lot to learn before you can head out for a relaxing ride. But if you’re ready for a unique experience, don’t fret about all of the terms and horse riding lingo.

At Pink Flamingo Stables, our staff truly loves horses and helping guests get to know these beautiful creatures. Sure, there is a lot to know about keeping horses, but that’s why we’re here — to make your trail ride as easy and as enjoyable as possible. However, even though you won’t need to know how to put on the saddle, there are a couple of terms that will make your ride that much more fun.

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This is a piece of equipment that rests on the horse’s head, and is used to control the direction the horse is going. Parts of the bridle include the reins and the bit.


This part of the bridle sits in the horse’s mouth. Attached to the bit are the reins.


These are what you will be holding onto during your ride. The reins are a large strip of leather that is connected to the bit. The reins are used to control and guide the direction and movements of the horse.


These are supports for your feet when you’re riding. Stirrups are attached to the saddle, and hang on either side of the horse. You will use the stirrups to lift yourself onto the horse, and also to rest your feet on the ride.

Heels Down

This is a phrase that you might hear your trail guide say. To ensure that you and the horse are comfortable during the trail ride, it’s important to maintain the right posture — your head, shoulders, hips, and heels should all line up. Saying “heels down” doesn’t literally mean to push your heels down and your toes up, it’s simply a reminder to keep your upper body straight and to not point your toes upward.


A horse’s gait describes how fast the horse is moving. A horse’s gait includes moving at a walk, trot, canter, or gallup. A trot is slightly faster than a walk; a canter is in between a trot and a gallup, and a gallup is a full run and where the horse will pick up all four hooves at once. During your horseback ride, the horses should remain at a steady walk, but if you are experienced enough, your guide may let the horse trot.

Trail riding at Pink Flamingo Stables isn’t complicated at all, as our horses are all very well trained and have a calm demeanor. Whether this is your first time on a horse or you have been riding for years, you’re sure to have a great time out in the open riding a beautiful horse. Sign up for a trail ride with Pink Flamingo Stables today!